Hillside Workers Fight Back


KiwiRail’s Hillside workers met today to discuss KiwiRail’s plan to buy Chinese built rolling stock and the Company’s proposal to slash 41 jobs at Hillside.

They unanimously called on their employer and the Government to back them and the future of New Zealand railways.

RMTU official Dave Kearns said “the mood of the meeting was one of determination, the workers here are committed to the future of rail and of the Hillside Workshops”.

Hillside employs 170 highly skilled engineers in South Dunedin.

Members have endorsed a public campaign to turn around the plan to cut jobs

The union official said: “We’ve seen the figures around the pricing of Hillside’s work and the Chinese bid and we don’t think the case for going overseas stacks up. We’re running the numbers past our experts and we think we can make a case for keeping the work here.

“But this isn’t just about dollars and cents, it’s about the dozens of businesses that depend on Hillside for work and the people those businesses employ. The downstream impact of these cuts on our families and the wider community doesn’t bear thinking about.”

The workers are holding a public meeting in Dunedin next Wednesday and e calling on the community to come along and have their say and back the workers.




  1. Matt says:

    The multiplier effect of losing this money from circulation within NZ is potentially huge, especially as we’re trying to recover from a recession.

  2. Jon R says:

    Steven Joyce, who is pushing Kiwirail hard while bending hand over fist for the trucking lobby, needs to be challenged. He has let Quinn buy Chinese over NZ made products. One contract for the first set of wagons cost just 2 million more than the chinese….but would have provide many, many staff and associated businesses with work in New Zealand.

    So, the NZTA gets to gold plate highways, KiwiRail gets cheap Chinese equipment. You can see where Joyce and the Nats are heading.

    Time for change.

  3. Geoff says:

    This is the direct consequence of Labour putting in place a free trade agreement with China.

    Could Joyce have stepped in and treated KiwiRail unfairly by instructing them to spend more for less? Possibly, but it wouldn’t have helped KiwiRail as a company.

    NZ has always bought its large wagon purchases from overseas. We bought thousands of wagons from Japan and Korea in the 1970′s. Nothing’s actually changed.

  4. Carl says:

    I hope they fight this bs and win, got nothing but my support.

    this kinda rubbish wouldn’t even last 5 minutes in australia.

    it would never get to this, because the people running the country wouldn’t even think about going overseas when it can be done in their own country.

    As far as I know, bombarder might be an overseas name, but anything in australia with that name on it, is built here.


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